José E. Cruz

José E. Cruz

O'Leary Professor
Department of Political Science
Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy
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219 Milne Hall
jose cruz photo

José E. Cruz was appointed O'Leary Professor in 2024 after 30 years of research, teaching, and service in the political science department. During that period he held a joint appointment in the department of Latin American, Caribbean, and U.S. Latino studies.

Professor Cruz's research is about Latino political participation in the Northeast, focusing on Puerto Ricans, and the role and impact of ethnicity in the political process. Other areas of research and teaching interest are political parties, social movements, Latin American immigration, community politics, politics and film, and inter-minority relations. His first book, Identity and Power: Puerto Rican Politics and the Challenge of Ethnicity (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998), explored the relationship between ethnic identity, political mobilization, and political empowerment. In 2000, Cruz co-edited Adiós Borinquen Querida: The Puerto Rican Diaspora, Its History and Contributions (Albany, NY: CELAC), with Edna Acosta Belén, et al. This book examines the Puerto Rican experience in the United States from multiple disciplinary perspectives including political science, literature, sociology, and media studies. Professor Cruz is also the editor of Latino Immigration Policy: Context, Issues, Alternatives (Albany, NY: NYLARNet, 2008). This volume compiles the papers presented at a conference on immigration held in November 2006 sponsored by the New York Latino Research and Resources Network (NYLARNet). In 2009, the New York State Political Science Association granted the Best Faculty Paper Award to Professor Cruz for his paper "Pluralism and Ethnicity in New York City Politics: The Case of Puerto Ricans." 

Professor Cruz’s most recent book publications are Liberalism and Identity Politics: Puerto Rican Community Organization and Collective Action in New York City (New York: Centro Press, 2019) and Puerto Rican Identity, Political Development, and Democracy in New York, 1960-1990 (Lexington Books/Rowman & Littlefield 2017). During the summer of 2015, Professor Cruz began a study abroad program in Madrid, Spain, focusing on the comparative study of urban politics and Latin American immigration. He is currently working on a book about Puerto Rican radicalism in New York City.